Working in the racing industry can be demanding and it is vital to take care of your mental wellbeing as well as your physical wellbeing.
The Mental Health Foundation has compiled a guide of best tips for looking after your mental health – backed by research. Read on for our summary of how you can integrate these tips into your day-to-day routine.
Some tips will be easier to put into practice than others, and remember, only do what works for you – that is enough.
Working in the racing industry means that many of us are based outdoors or surrounded by animals a lot of the time. Even those in office-based roles may have easier access to outdoor environments than an average office worker. For some people, being in nature can help them feel calmer, more hopeful and less alone.
When you are out in nature, on the racecourse, at the yard or on the gallops, try reminding yourself to ‘take notice’ of what is around you – the trees, plants, birds and animals, for instance. Take a deep breath, notice how you feel, and try to connect with your surroundings.
Watch our short film about how nature can positively impact mental wellbeing.
Intense feelings can interfere with our lives, making it difficult to think clearly or work, relax, study, sleep or deal with other people.
To help manage your feelings you could try:
Read the Mental Health Foundation’s advice on understanding and managing feelings here.
If you’re struggling with understanding or managing your feelings you can access in-the-moment support from a trained counsellor via Racing’s Support Line.
It can take a lot of courage to unbottle our feelings and tell someone else if we are struggling.
Maintaining connections and relationships with those around us can help make difficult conversations feel a little easier, and connection can also positively impact our mental wellbeing. With this in mind, try to do something a little different today and make a connection:
See our further tips on starting a conversation here.
For some people, using illegal drugs or alcohol can help them cope with difficult feelings. This is never a healthy solution, and will only ever provide temporary respite, often making things worse or potentially leading to other problems including addiction.
Find out more about Racing Welfare’s addiction support here.
Money worries and fears about paying debts, bills and essentials such as food and electricity can be very stressful. You might feel ashamed or alone when it comes to managing your finances but, the truth is, we are never alone with money problems. It is one of the leading causes of stress for many people.
Racing Welfare offers money advice to anyone working in the racing industry, and we also offer practical financial assistance through our targeted grants programme. Find out more here or call Racing’s Support Line.
A lack of sleep can affect everything in life including your productivity, your relationships, your family life and your overall health.
Adults need between 7 and 9 hours’ sleep a night, including enough dreaming sleep and enough deeper sleep.
If you’re struggling with your sleep, think about making a few simple changes.
For further support with your sleep find out more about Sleepstation, the NHS accredited, personalised sleep programme available to racing industry staff via Racing Welfare.
Small or large acts of kindness towards other people can give you a sense of purpose. It can make you feel happier and more satisfied with life. Here are a few ideas to get your started:
Find out more about volunteering with Racing Welfare here.
Regular physical activity and healthy eating is associated with lower rates of depression and anxiety across all age groups. The racing industry is naturally physical but it is also important to do other activities that you enjoy, especially if they have a social aspect. A few ideas are:
Racing Welfare hosts sporting events in various locations up and down the country, free to attend for anyone working in the racing or breeding industry. Find out more here.
Find out more about physical fundraising challenge events here.
Life can feel more interesting, lively and rewarding when we are open to trying new experiences and experimenting with how we do things.
The Mental Health Foundation suggest this could be as simple as what we have for breakfast or the route we walk with the dog. It could also need some planning, like an adventure holiday. We might find a new place that it turns out we love, discover a talent we didn’t know we had or meet someone new and important.
Read more on the Mental Health Foundation’s website.
Having things to look forward to, or learning a new skill, can help us cope with difficult situations.
Learning new things and making plans can boost self-confidence and self-esteem, help build a sense of purpose and help us connect with others. Some things you could try:
Racing Welfare’s mental health services are part of our award-winning Workforce Wellbeing Programme (WWP). If you are concerned that you or someone you know is suffering from low wellbeing and/or a mental health problem then you can contact us in the following ways:
Racing Welfare’s 24 hour support line enables people to access support and
guidance through digital and telephone options.